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Five ways to boost winter sales

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Spice caught up with Lauren Lacava from Max Capacity to find out how to boost hospitality and event sales during winter.

Just because the weather has gone cold, doesn’t mean your line of enquiry has to. There are many styles of events that occur over ‘event season’ from September to March, with many major events, end of year parties and weddings occurring during the warmer months. There are only so many events to be won over the winter months and there are a number of reasons that hospitality and events businesses struggle to make budget during this time.

Here are Max Capacity’s top 5 ways to avoid the winter blues in your hospitality or events business.

1. Set a sales and marketing strategy
All hospitality businesses need a strategic sales and marketing plan. By developing a marketing plan for the year, you can activate your marketing and sales campaigns consistently and strategically at the right times. Without a marketing plan, you are effectively flying by the seat of your pants – implementing ad hoc, random marketing to no effect. Create a plan so that you can identify winter targets and allow enough lead time for your marketing to work.

2. Consistent sales and marketing activity over your busy period
It’s all hands on deck over event season and all too often, hospitality and events businesses slow down or cease their sales and marketing activities over this time to focus on operations. If you don’t perform any sales or marketing activities for several months, this is going to affect your winter sales. Look at using scheduling tools and tasks that can be outsourced over event season. Make time to entertain your top clients and some potential new clients too.

3. Pick up the phone
Prospecting for new business isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, outbound sales need to occur consistently throughout the year to drive new business over winter. Don’t just wait for the phone to ring. Phone sales campaigns should be a key focus area (always) and starting with clients that booked or enquired for the winter months in years prior is a great place to start.

4. Winter incentives
Winter incentives in terms of discounts or value adds will only be effective if you allow enough lead time. Winter incentives shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. Design your winter incentives at the start of the year so that you can go to market with enough time to attract some great winter events.

5. Update your directory listings
Listings provide an excellent line of enquiry and marketing channel to promote your business. Listings need to be kept up-to-date – with new images, videos, client testimonials and any other news or offers. Change up your wording regularly and above all, make sure your content is up to date and of excellent quality. Explore every avenue of additional promotion that your listing may offer.

There is no quick fix for slow winter sales. Start thinking about next winter now and start planning how you are going to resource your sales and marketing activities over event season. Consistent and strategic sales and marketing activities performed across the year will ensure that your events business is at Max Capacity all year round.

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